Successfully Navigating the Scene Changes – Danish Delivery

I am learning fast that it is crucial when navigating change, or multiple scene changes, to be soft and gentle on yourself throughout. It doesn’t matter if it’s big or little, intermittent or fixed, long or short-term change. If you can find some softness in your approach to yourself and how you are feeling during this period then it will flow through into creating a more successful transition.

Every one of us has to deal with change and often on a very regular basis. Sure, we may all move house every once in a while, and the statistics show this is one of the most ‘stressful’ things we can do. Moving is certainly a biggie, but what about the other, less radical changes? For example, have you noticed or experienced;

The Friday night to Sunday night journey and the inevitable sinking feeling as Monday morning looms! Some of us are working where we want to be, and some of us are not. Even those with dream jobs sometimes feel the Sunday night vibe. It can be coming back from a super holiday or returning to work after an incredible weekend. Not all of us have the perfect balance of work and play sussed.

A shift in energy at home when a partner departs or returns from being away. While you are so excited to see them again, it can be frustrating when your routine gets changed. The washing pile doubles, the house appears messy, there is an extra voice to consider, and extra dynamics to navigate.

A huge empty nest when kids embark on their own journeys away from home. Whether that be little ones starting school, or big ones leaving for university. Even though you are super proud of them, know they are their own people, and you have your own busy life, there is still a sense of loss to overcome with the change of energy and routine.

Seasonal changes. We are all connected strongly with the earth; we feel and react to the seasons. Are you aware of how much they influence your wellbeing, your mood, your energy? Losing an hour or gaining an hour; the change of light, temperature and colour, have an impact on how we feel. It takes a moment of awareness to appreciate how the changes affect us personally.

Physical changes, regardless of age or sex. This is another inevitable change where our bodies and our minds do not stand still. When do we take a moment to become aware of how this may be impacting us?

The list is endless.

I write about this because I have noticed how, in between big and obvious changes like moving, there are all sorts of other shifts going on which often go unrecognised.

While I am well equipped and experienced in being spontaneous, living in the moment and taking risks, I am also aware that I sometimes take a while to adjust from one moment to the next. In this moment of adjustment, tasks, work and thoughts can easily feel overwhelming, and somewhat negative. It’s during the moment of adjustment that I am most vulnerable to self-doubt, negative chatter, and wanting to hide and give up. It’s in these moments of adjustment that I can lose my cool, my flow, my breath and my grounding. It’s not really surprising that it can take a tiny bit of time to adjust between scenes and that often we are totally unaware of how we are communicating this energy, this vulnerability outwardly, possibly even leading us to struggle and bicker with loved ones. Is it any wonder that at times we may think about taking the easy path, or running and hiding?

Moving backwards and forwards between countries and homes will undoubtedly open up countless new opportunities and growth. But only with huge self-awareness, softness, love and compassion towards myself will I be able to navigate myself and my family through the increased number of adjustment periods.  By looking at this differently I can help myself shift un-serving patterns. By recognising that we are nearly always in a period of flow, of movement and energy exchange no matter where we are or what we are doing.  In-fact transition is one of the hardest thing to crack in a yoga practice or many other sports, the start of a race, the dive into water, the jump or turn.  We often forget our current present state and focus too far, striving for the destination, the perfect pose, but what is proven time and time again and is fundamental to success, is how are we getting there.

To help me navigate this more effectively, I plan to proactively practice the following steps. To those of you who are with me and following this journey of transition, I call on you to keep me accountable! And if you are going through significant change yourself, please join me in using this approach

Plan to manage successful scene changes:

  1. Keep reminding myself of my reasons WHY. My anchors, my ideal scene, my vision. Keep it relevant, keep it near, make it visible, create reminders (daily, weekly, monthly)

  2. Proactively and frequently connect with my core values.

  3. Document even brief moments of vulnerability. Acknowledge what it felt like, and what actions I took to navigate through.

  4. When the wave of adjustment is reaching surge point, take three deep breaths and notice what is happening, mentally and physically. Shake it out if necessary.

  5. Take an action to pause and get outside. Walk, even if briefly, in fresh air and connect with breath.

  6. Notice all thoughts, assumptions and get slippery of mind. Let the unhelpful ones pass, capture the good ones. Be my own self-perpetuating dream catcher.

  7. Ask for feedback and remember to TRUST in the journey.

  8. Proactively create space around the adjustment surges to enable pressure points to be handled effectively. For example, if landing late at night, keep the morning free to re-stock the fridge, collect the dog, and plan for the week without carrying guilt of ‘I should be…..’

  9. Reconnect with those in your tribe that build you up. One positive face to face meeting and I am often raring to go.

  10. Be accountable to myself, eat well, get to bed on time, use core grounding routines and rituals. Don’t bypass the basics, as it will only catch you out later.

Just listing these out and keeping them close will remind me for next time. Reading them through, or having a friend remind me, is all it takes to refocus and get back on track. I look East every morning, grateful for every sunrise bringing new energy, fresh choices and opportunities.

It’s never too late to begin making a positive change.

Thank you to all those supporting me.

With love
Sam

Previous blogs on this personal transition can be found at:http://naturaledgecoachinguk.co.uk/blog/category/danish-delivery/

Supporting Baby Loss Awareness Week 9-15th Oct 2017

Photocredit: http://www.babyloss-awareness.org

Many of you already know the topic of baby loss is one very close to my heart.  This week provides a platform for many families in the UK and around the world to talk openly about the subject of and raise awareness of baby loss.  There are over 40 charities supporting this event and it was debated in parliament last night.  The key areas of focus this year are #simplysay campaigns helping people understand how to support loved ones during baby loss on what to say and what not to say.  Other areas of focus are  #breakthesilence all too often the subject of baby loss is avoided or kept quiet.  It is still surrounded in taboo and awkwardness.  There is also a key focus on improving the quality of support available to bereaved parents at any stage of pregnancy loss across the country.

This is a week to actively speak freely about your experiences, opening the door for others to do the same.  But the conversation needs to continue.  I am proud to say that a recent blog of mine has been published by the Huffington Post UK and I can only hope that it connects with a few to help them on their difficult journey.

Perhaps use this opportunity to take some time this week to connect with a friend you may know is having a hard time and let them know you are there for them, open up the conversation with employers and how they can help and reach out and ask for help if you need it.  The impacts of this type of trauma are often lasting and highly significant to your mental wellbeing.

Baby Loss Awareness Week finishes each year on October 15th with the global ‘Wave of Light’.

October 15th is also International Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day and is recognised across the world.

You can be involved by simply lighting a candle at 7pm local time and leave it burning for at least 1 hour to join in remembering all babies that have died too soon. This can occur at home or in a communal space, in a group or alone. Wherever you do this, you will be joining a global ‘Wave of Light’ in memory of all the babies who lit up our lives for such a short time.

With love

Sam

 

Awareness of the in-betweeners; insights following a struggle to pregnancy.

Have you ever felt like that newbie, that in-betweener, you don’t quite fit in?

Having shared a bit of my struggle to motherhood story a few months ago, I am clear that it was the right thing to do, not only for myself but more than that, for the response I received from other people. It opened the door just a tiny bit further allowing others around me to mention a friend, a sister, a brother or a loved one who is on or who has had a difficult journey of their own.  I was struck by the number of people who spoke to me, and the genuine compassion in their eyes and words.

I have since found myself drawn to follow a number of miscarriage and infertility support organisations on social media and I regularly review the press.  Here I see so many other men and women sharing their journey, their pains, thoughts and feelings, and reaching out to those who need it most. One of the most striking observations are the rare stories I read from the ‘in-betweeners’, the couples, individuals who feel unsure sharing their stories because they feel they don’t quite ‘fit in’ to any particular group.  Being on the edge is always a difficult place and when it’s associated with a difficult topic such as infertility, it makes it all the more awkward, and I guess one of the reasons it isn’t talked about.

Who are the ‘in-betweeners’?

  • Those right at the start of their pregnancy journey, filled with so much hope, often unknowing and rightly so, of the challenges some people face but who are beginning to wonder if they have a problem. It’s taking a while, self-doubt begins to creeps in. They feel like they can’t mention it, perhaps even to their partner, as everyone else seems to be conceiving OK, so who wants to hear it? Worrying about nothing right? But so anxious all the same.
  • Those who, after coping with the shock and trauma of miscarriage number 1 or 2, are beginning to open up. Perhaps they are beginning to ask for help and realise that they are one of millions, standing at the bottom of a mountain of information.  They haven’t started on the IUI, IVF route and are beginning to hear about how many other people are on miscarriage 4/5/6/7. They might be thinking their woes are not as bad, and therefore not worthy of airing. They still hope that none of the acronyms will be needed for them and that they will conceive OK next time….but they are filled with anxiety.
  • Those who have newly ‘qualified’ for IUI, after suffering too many losses already. They have belief and are hopeful that, with a little bit of help, it will be OK, but are surrounded by stories of it not working: “we did IUI 3/4 times’, “good luck… it didn’t work for us but you have to do it.”
  • Those making new friends in the IVF waiting rooms, again entering as the newbie, already vulnerable to pain, loss both mentally and physically and now facing the gruelling beginning AGAIN.
  • Those that have children already but are struggling with conceiving a second, or third and perhaps feeling like they are not allowed to voice their grief, their story, because they have been ‘lucky’ already.
  • Those who have now been through IVF to the point of no more, coping with endless grief, loss, and heart ache. Do they now consider being the newbie again in a different scenario, such as adoption/surrogacy or whatever the options are, if any.
  • Or those re-presenting, vulnerable and so exposed as the individual/couple that tried but ‘can’t’.

These are just a handful of examples and there are many, many more events, times and situations where it may feel like your story is of no use, no interest. It’s common to feel that others have had it so much harder than you, or that no one will ever understand your grief, your pain, and the torture this has caused you.

What is clear, is that this painful life journey brings up more than you expect.  You don’t plan for or anticipate emotions of being the newbie, the ‘in-experienced ones’ and yet you get repeatedly transported back to those feelings of being the new kid in class who doesn’t know the teachers’ names, or have any friends yet, doesn’t know where anything is and has to learn fast.  You become totally over-whelmed with information, science, wellness, diet, cycles, and other people’s stories. Often we are not aware of how much from these stories we unconsciously take on and how much they may take from us at a time when every ounce of strength is needed to move forward.

Add in for good measure the insensitivities that society seemingly throws at us daily, such as the perfect family images, the questions on when you are having your family, your next baby, or the assumptions that you are just focussing on your career for now.  Plus, the doctors telling you to relax, it will happen, and the endless ADVICE from everyone who feels obliged to HELP you as you are obviously incapable of helping yourselves.

In these times….

It is incredibly important to observe yourself and your needs.  You deserve the most sensitive, caring, heartfelt, loving self-care of all.  You deserve what you would give to anyone else in difficult times. We are often our own worst critics, we hide from our feelings, we perfect non-attachment to them, we are so hard on ourselves.  It is not selfish, weak or self-centred to need to share, to talk or to be quiet.  It is not hurtful to need to talk to a stranger rather than your partner, your friends, or family.

Being brave enough to open up and be vulnerable won’t get you pregnant but it will help you keep a bit of YOU.  Acknowledging the pain and rawness of your emotions when they are happening, or even after years of hiding them, allows others to acknowledge theirs.  Through compassion and kindness to yourselves by sharing your stories, you are opening doors to all those around you to do the same.

Never forget how important you are.

If you want to share your story and are feeling a moment of bravery, go ahead, I am gently listening.

With love

Sam x

Self-Awareness and Limits Are Your Answer!

Do you get hooked in?

Picture the scene, you bump into a friend and they immediately begin off-loading on you about how very busy they are, with work, kids, family and how everything sucks in life because of it. You are standing there taking it all in and you get hooked, like Velcro. You get pulled in and attach onto the mood or one of the emotions yourself.  Then you start to say things that were not even near to featuring in your thoughts until a second ago…

How many times do you hear yourself saying out loud things like:

‘I can’t, it’s not the right time. I don’t have the money right now. I wish I could, I just don’t have the confidence. I will do it, just not right now, it’s too much along with everything else.’

or your internal voice saying;

‘I want to do it differently but no one will understand me. What will they think? I don’t want to make a mistake, look stupid. What if I am wrong? I know I want to do it but it scares me. I can’t change it so may as well just accept it and be quiet. It’s not worth the stress. My needs are less important than everyone else’s so just get on with it.’

These are just a few examples of the daily chatter we have with ourselves and others, and often we never stop to even acknowledge what we are saying. We get hooked in and attached and let the chatter grow uncontrolled.  Although we cannot avoid the ebb and flow of our moods or our emotions, we can begin to notice them and then delve a little deeper.  The more times we hear the same chatter, the more times we repeat the same stories, the more we believe it and then take it as fact. But is it fact?

To shake up this pattern we first need to see it and hear it and look to remove our unconscious attachment to it, or in other words become more insightful and compassionate with ourselves.  It is not just about noticing only the seemingly negative emotions, it’s also about learning to recognise what triggers our good moods too. To know what brings these mood swing changes will help us understand that they are not so solid and are each a reaction to what happens to us in this world around us.

There are many ways to become more conscious in our daily lives, for example through more formal meditation and mindfulness practices such as yoga. But there are also other less formal ways to practise in everyday encounters.

The key is to begin to notice yourself and listen to what you are saying to yourself and others, to develop some increased self-awareness.  This can be achieved by actively listening to the conversations you are engaging in.  Hearing how many times you repeat the same story daily. Who do you engage with often? How do you feel afterwards? Has your mood been impacted?

During the conversation, before you jump in and offer your story, your side of events, perhaps ask yourself a couple of quick questions:

‘What value am I adding here and how can I best serve them and myself?’

By simply asking yourself a quick question before you jump in will bring you back to the present moment.  We have all heard about being more present, well that basically comes down to being more conscious and that in itself is a gift as it offers you more choice.

Then you have options, do you want to add fuel to the drama?

If so,  jump in knowingly and notice the emotions that it creates in you, like rage, anger, tiredness, sadness or excitement.  We all need a rant now and again; we all need to get it out.  Take a moment to notice, to say ‘hang on I’m here again’ and ask yourself what triggered you to attach to the conversation in the first instance?

Once you begin to notice the underlying cause, you can let the emotion or mood dissolve and give yourself a break, be kinder to yourself, more compassionate and choose ‘how to be’.

Practising this often naturally leads to a more conscious or mindful way of living.

So how does all this relate to limits being your answer?

With this increased self-awareness, I believe there is great insight to be had by identifying and writing down all our limits around any particular project or vision.  To clearly identify our own limits gives us our gems, nuggets, and clues to help us move forward.  We can creatively develop ideas to move around, through, under or over the perceived obstacle. I believe once we know our limits, we can get creative with them and turn them into our needs, our functions and integrate them into our action plan.

This is really useful when you are beginning something new, or facing a problem or challenge.  Perhaps a new project, or new relationship, a relocation, or new job… it really doesn’t matter.  If you are ready to brave up and listen to yourself then this is worth a try.

I must first acknowledge Looby Macnamara, as she has developed a Design Web model taking permaculture philosophies and applying them to people based systems [http://loobymacnamara.com/people-and-permaculture/].  She takes the limits and delayers them into 4 groups:

  • Visible Limits – these could be physical barriers such as distance or time zones, or if something like a garden project, pathways, pond, fence line etc.
  • Invisible Limits – such as unseen communication flows between teams, partners, family or energy levels of a team/group; the unknown skill level of individual or group; or unseen/spoken expectations.
  • Internal Limits – this is where self-limiting beliefs enter, how we see the world and other people.  Some are inherited, cultural or arrive via main stream media.  We have been conditioned since birth, ask yourself how are they showing up in this instance?
  • External Limits – these can be more practical limits for instance policies, regulations, school holidays, office hours, school hours etc.

Sometimes limits are missing in our lives, for example you may identify a need to set a boundary around your work or your health for example.

Take a moment to consider your situation, what is your vision i.e. what is the ideal scene you are looking to achieve for this ‘project’ and then consider what is keeping you feeling small when your ideal scene may appear so big? Get creative, draw up a table, diagram, or drawing, and note them all.

Here is your opportunity to get honest with yourself, what are you holding on to which is holding you back.  What do those behaviours look like? What is your comfort blanket?

We often use time and money as a real limit, which is legitimate as they are both a top line limit, but what is underneath each of them? Is the time or money an excuse? What is the base layer limit, is it confidence? Is it a limiting self-belief? What is really blocking your connection with your ideal scene?

Once you have them identified, do you see them forming any patterns, do they naturally correlate into groups? What are your priorities? Do these link to your core values? If you were to flip each one upside down, 180 degrees, and make it into a need, what would that need look like now?

I have recently taken myself through this exercise as part of a change that I am embarking on. It is a transition involving myself and my family.  Being able to document all my perceived limits in a clear format and then flip them into clear needs in my action plan has already given me huge insight and benefits.

Here are a few personal observations:

  • With all my perceived limits documented clearly in one place, some of them, already no longer appear as a limit! Those remaining do not now feel unsurmountable.
  • It has left me feeling more focussed with room for creative solutions.
  • It has given me a vehicle or vessel to discuss quite sensitive areas non-emotively with my partner.
  • I feel empowered as I have approached this transition differently with a greater sense of control and positivity.
  • The limits listed out provided the structure for my action plan. They provided the stepping stones and were easier to prioritise than expected.
  • They have given me connections to other areas of my transition plan, such as my overall vision, ideas, patterns and integration.
  • I have learnt some key insights on where my ‘hooks’ were, with this knowledge I am more aware and therefore have more choice around my reactions.
  • They provide me with another anchor and they give me a sort of baseline to work from. It therefore provides me with momentum and energy to progress further when perceived obstacles are eventually overcome.

The benefits to taking a few minutes to identify your limits are quite staggering and I truly believe knowing them is one of your biggest assets to moving forward in growth.

If you would like any help with this, or need a brainstorm as to what is holding you back right now, then please get in touch.  I offer a free 30 min discovery session so there is nothing to lose.  It is easy to contact me through the website or via my Facebook page.  I look forward to hearing from you.

Warm wishes

Sam x

Making some sense of a fraught transition to motherhood

It took 10 years, eight pregnancies and six miscarriages to become a mother of two.  Eight years on from the birth of my first child, it’s only now that am I beginning to make sense of my fraught transition into motherhood. Continue reading “Making some sense of a fraught transition to motherhood”